The Sweet Smell of Success
Two entrepreneurs in Moncton, NB, have literally taken the time to smell the roses and are now parlaying the moment into a multi-million dollar business going head-to-head against the likes of S.C. Johnson and Proctor & Gamble. Luc Jalbert and Don Goguen, owners of Prelam Enterprises Inc., are in the air freshener business and after just 18 months they have become the Atlantic David to a group of international Goliaths.
With brokers in the Maritimes, Québec, Ontario and Western Canada and warehouse facilities in Moncton and Branford, Ontario, the Jalbert-Goguen team continues to expand its growing line of national retailers to include Wal-Mart, Zellers, Canadian Tire, Sobeys, Home Hardware, Petro-Canada, IGA, Uniprix, UniSelect and Shoppers. They also continue to push for prime retail space, inching alongside the big guys for optimum customer reach.
Business hasnʼt always smelled so sweet. In the early days, Jalbert and Goguen learned that introducing new, innovative products to an uninformed marketplace is a hard way to make money. “If there was one thing we learned from the though times,” says Luc Jalbert, “it was that, in order to be successful, Prelam had to have products that consumers could identify with and want… over and over again.”
Their fortunes changed after a trip to Hong Kong almost two years ago. Happening upon an innovative car air freshener, the partners brought the product into Canada and test marketed it at retail operations like Irving gas bars, Jean Coutu and Shoppers. The air freshener was an immediate hit and today, Prelam is Canadaʼs premier air freshener company – rising to number four in sales amidst competitive superstars like S.C. Johnson.